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  1. #1

    Last Five Books you read

    Here's a fun little thread idea. Post the last five books you read (or tried to read) with a mini one sentence review and perhaps a rating as to how much you enjoyed it. Here's a key:

    5 - Absolutely loved it - an all-time favorite.
    4 - Very much enjoyed it, highly recommended.
    3 - Liked but didn't love it - recommended if its your type of book.
    2 - It was OK, I suppose, but wouldn't recommend it unless you've got nothing else to read.
    1 - Rather poor but I was on the airplane, OK?
    0 - So bad I couldn't even finish it.

    For me:

    Red Wolf Conspiracy ~ Robert VS Redick. Really liked it, although with some quirks and almost cheesy elements that kept me from loving it; will continue the series. 3.5 (borderline 4)
    Ubik ~ Philip K Dick. Classic Dick, what more to say? 4
    Miracle Visitors ~ Ian Watson . Typical philosophical Watson with numerous twists; an underrated author. 3.5
    The Whitefire Crossing ~ Courtney Schafer. OK adventure story, nothing that really stood out except authors love of mountains which is somewhat infectious. 3
    Book of Atrix Wolfe ~ Patricia McKillip. Excellent book, classic McKillip fairy tale atmosphere; wish it was longer, more in-depth. 4 (borderline 4.5)

    Your turn!

  2. #2
    Okay, so my list isn't that interesting, since I've decided to tackle the Wheel of Time, and thus four of the five books are from that saga. But I felt a strange need to post something today on SFFWorld.

    The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. None of the Sherlock Holmes novels are very long (there are only four of them), including this one. However, it seemed to drag on forever. 2
    The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. A nice introduction to the Wheel of Time. My enjoyment of all of these novels is currently tempered by the fact that I know nothing is really going to be resolved at the end of any of these books, at least until I get to the ones Brandon Sanderson helped write. And color me a traditionalist who doesn't mind stereotypical themes, but I like farmboy-saving-the-world stories (besides, that idea probably wasn't so hackneyed back in 1990). 4
    The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan. Plot sprawl is already becoming evident. 3.5
    The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan. Plot sprawl in here. 3
    The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan. Our characters move around and do some things. A new character or two is introduced. 3

  3. #3
    I actually thought Shadow Rising was the best in the series (at least the first 7-8 that I read).

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Alchemist View Post
    I actually thought Shadow Rising was the best in the series (at least the first 7-8 that I read).
    Oh dear.

    Apparently I can't just say "Oh dear." The message has to be 10 characters in length. So now it is, and the entropy of the universe has been increased with the wastage of electrons. Fans of the second law of thermodynamics should be thrilled.

  5. #5
    Supposed to say "of the first 7-8 books in the series that I read," not of the first 7-8 times I read the Shadow Rising, which I only read once - about 20 years ago.

  6. #6
    Most of the last five books I read weren't sff, so you wouldn't be interested. ;-)

    But the last five sff books --

    In the middle of Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan right now. Ehh. The story is interesting enough, but the poor writing -- very blunt, lots of "as you know Bob" exposition masquerading as dialogue, lots of telling instead of showing, some bashing us over the head with things we already know -- keeps me from caring much for the characters. This will probably end up 3 stars, maybe 2.5 if I get really irritated.

    The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison. I enjoyed this a lot. So did my mom. :-) Entirely different than Sarah Monette's other stuff. Very little action, almost completely politics and internal character stuff. 4 stars.

    The Emperor's Edge by Lindsay Burocker. Fun in an "Ocean's 11" sort of way. No real depth. 3.5 stars.

    Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews. Unexceptional entry in the world of Magic Rises with a former side character as the MC. Fun if you like the rest of the series. 3 stars.

    Skin Game by Jim Butcher. Harry Dresden. Nuff said. 4 stars.

  7. #7
    Man of Ways and Means kennychaffin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Denver, CO
    Who can remember.....

    Let's see.....

    The Coast of Chicago - Stuart Dybek
    The Collected Stories - Lydia Davis
    The Lathe of Heaven - Ursula K. LeGuin
    The Martian Chronicles - Bradbury
    Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction.
    Aimless Love - Billy Collins (poetry)

    Last edited by kennychaffin; August 10th, 2014 at 10:10 AM.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Hello All.... I kind of like this thread as I sometimes am remiss in staying current with the monthly what am I reading thread.

    Assail 4....Just finished this last night. I thought this was a strong addition to the Malazan saga. The combination of new characters and old characters that we haven't seen in a long while works well in this book. I think this is one of Esselmont's strongest books to date. I would love to go on, but I guarantee that I would start spoilering. I will say that I did a few fist pumps when a certain awesome character made his return to the Malazan story..... and I'll shut up now about it before my fingers start to betray me.

    King of Thorns 3.... I thought this was a good book. The action scenes are very well done throughout the book. I thought the idea of Jorg's worst memories being locked away from him in order to preserve his sanity was pretty cool.

    Prince of Thorns 3.... Again another good book although I liked King a little more. I guess I just have a bit of a problem seeing someone so young whipping a band of murderous thugs into his own little army, but I liked the book well enough. The action scenes are well done and I like the concept of the post-apocalyptic world that this story takes place in.... I also enjoy some of the humor that Lawrence uses and the references to popular things in our society that in Jorg's world have lost their original meaning... like the "Merican Pie" song in the book. It reminded me of Sandra Bullock singing the Oscar Meyer jingle in the movie Demolition Man.

    The Mountains Rise 3.... This is the start of a prequel to the Mageborn series. While I really enjoyed the Mageborn books, this one I found a little less fun. The subject matter is kind of grim, but what kind of made this difficult for me is that while the Mageborn series is primarily a first person narrative from Mordecai Illeniel's POV, the new series is Mordecai recounting the history of the Illeniel line to his children... it just didn't work as well for me as the previous series.

    Tower Lord 4.... Thoroughly enjoyed this book. I know some here have had an issue with the multiple POVs, but it worked for me. The action was stellar and there were plenty of heartaches as well as triumph in this book. Looking forward to the next chapter of the story.

    Cheers all,

  9. #9
    Registered User ImpKnight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Ottawa, Ontario
    The Widow's House 3 I like the series but it's a little slow.

    Midnight Tides 4 Really enjoyed it even though it was so different from the previous books.

    Cibola Burn 3 I love the Expanse but didn't like this one as much as the others.

    Tower Lord 5 Really enjoyed it. Didn't even remember that Blood Song was 1st person til I came online after I finished Tower Lord.

    House of Chains 3 Good, but I liked Memories of Ice more.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by ImpKnight View Post
    The Widow's House 3 I like the series but it's a little slow.

    Midnight Tides 4 Really enjoyed it even though it was so different from the previous books.

    Cibola Burn 3 I love the Expanse but didn't like this one as much as the others.

    Tower Lord 5 Really enjoyed it. Didn't even remember that Blood Song was 1st person til I came online after I finished Tower Lord.

    House of Chains 3 Good, but I liked Memories of Ice more.

    You're getting into the real meat of the Malazan series now.

    You may enjoy the above link. It goes chapter by chapter and is spoiler free. (Provided you stay in the spoiler free section). I have reread the series and I enjoyed reading the insights of both Bill (who was rereading the series) and Amanda (first time reader). They do this in a chronological order between both ICE and SE's books, so if you are only reading Erikson's books, just skip to the next MBOTF book, or if you are reading both their books they are all there. They are about 1/3 the way through the Crippled God right now.


  11. #11
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    New England
    The Golden Fool by Robin Hobb 5 - she amazes me every time out.
    Half a King by Joe Abercrombie 2 - lacks the substance of his other books.
    Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan 4 - excellent read, the story got much bigger in this sequel.
    Cibola Burn by James S A Corey 3 - the series is chugging along, not with a great sense of direction, but still enjoyable.
    Gridlinked by Neal Asher 3 - a fun first novel.

  12. #12
    Oh crap, I forgot Half A King. So that's the last SIX sff books I've read. This one is okay on its own, but definitely suffers from comparison with Abercrombie's other books. 3 stars.

  13. #13
    Where the Summer Ends by Karl Edward Wagner --5/5: collection of his horror short stories ("Sticks"; "The River of Night's Dreaming"; "By Any Measure"; etc.), mainly novella length work, a cornerstone collection from the early 1980s (5/5 because I've read several of these stories multiple times and enjoyed them yet again)

    Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn -- 4/5: terrific, gleefully nasty thriller

    Psycho by Robert Bloch -- 3/5: solid 1950s thriller, but the movie is stronger

    Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn 3.5/5: not as intricate as Gone Girl, but very good, suspenseful and affecting thriller

    The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers -- 3.5/5: the first five stories of the original collection are cornerstones of an earlier era's weird tale and still reward reading over 100 years later

    Randy M.

  14. #14
    Cthulhu's Red Bucket Lucas Thorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Melbourne, Australia
    Gonji: Red Blade from the East (reading) TC Rypel - 4
    Jirel of Joiry CL Moore - 3.5
    A Thirst for Vengeance (Part 1) Edward M Knight - 4
    Wrath of the Medusa TO Munro - 4.5
    Traitor's Blade - Sebastien De Castell - 4.5

    A joyous last month of reading.

  15. #15
    Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell - 3.5/5 - an introduction the Wallander series, but may suffer from some translations issues. A good mystery with insight into Swedish xenophobia, and also insight into the fact that Swedes drink a cup of coffee about every 12 seconds.

    Snow Angels by James Thompson - 5/5 - Set in rural northern Finland, more action packed than the Mankell, with an atypical detective/inspector type who leads a relatively put-together life. Again, themes of xenophobia and racism.

    The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen - 5/5 - Danish. Much more in depth than the first two, with stronger writing and deeper characterization. About a resurrected missing persons cold case.

    Raven Black - by Ann Cleeves - 2/5 - Set in the Shetland Islands. Poor writing and plotting. Glaring plot holes and a detective whose investigative skills may be surpassed by Encyclopedia Brown. Not recommended. 2 stars only for the one character Magnus Tait, who I thought was written very well.

    Lucifer's Tears - by James Thompson - 4/5 - the next Inspector Vaara book by Thompson. Not as strong as the first, but still very good, with a very shocking crime. Thompson's books may not be for the queasy. The series seems like it will now go in a very different direction, away from crime scene investigation to more counter-espionage, counter-organized crime black ops, which may or may not interest me, I haven't decided.

    I've been on a bit of a international murder mystery kick...
    Last edited by Whitleyrr; August 13th, 2014 at 09:54 AM.

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